Housing Court Services Presented at Neighborhood Council

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Benjamin Adeyinka, Housing Court Deputy Court Administrator presented resources offered by the Housing Court at the September North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council meeting.

Watch Adeyinka’s presentation in the video above and follow along with this timeline.

(1:30) The housing court was started in 1972 in Boston to combat urban blight. There are now six divisions, covering the entire Commonwealth.

(2:32) There are 137 full time employees who report to Chief Justice Timothy Sullivan and Deputy Court Administrator Adeyinka. There are 15 judges and 6 statutory clerks. In fiscal year 2019, the court handled approximately 41,000 case filings, 31,000 of which were eviction cases.

(3:52) Each housing court is comprised of a leadership of three individuals: a first justice, a clerk magistrate, and a chief housing specialist.

What does the housing court do?

(4:18) They can hear summary process evictions, small claims cases, civil actions involving personal injuries, breach of contract, discrimination claims, foreclosure challenges, and more. The focus is on the health, safety and welfare of residential occupants.

Some initiatives the housing court is working on include e-filings, which they hope to have in place by the end of calendar year 2019.

What are some of the resources the housing court provides?

(6:02) Court employees are bilingual and are diverse in their represented community. The court is able to assist those who don’t speak fluent English and they also do not require IDs.

(7:14) The court has housing specialists who are trained in the state sanitary code who can go into a property and do an inspection. Judges will also visit an apartment or unit if there is a big controversy.

(8:14) The housing court has a lawyer-for-the-day program for those who may not be able to obtain representation. This is available at no cost, first come first serve.

(9:02) Some of the things the court deals with are domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health abuse. The individuals who work for the housing court are trained to handle these issues.

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